Mexico is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The people, the food, the scenery, and the culture are all unbelievable. In 2010, my family and I had the opportunity to travel to Valladolid, Mexico on a medical mission trip with an organization called IMA (International Medical Assistance) Missions. We spent a wonderful 2 weeks exploring the culture, enjoying the food, celebrating Mardi Gras and ministering to the Mayans. The experience brought us closer together as a family and really opened our eyes to just how truly blessed we are. Each day, my mother and I had the joyful obligation of passing out tooth brushes, tooth paste, small toys, and stickers to all of the families that received medical attention from IMA. I still remember the phrase that we were taught to say to everyone. It was, "Cepillo los dientes despues comer azucar," which translates to, "Brush your teeth after eating sugar." We must have said that at least 500 times over the course of our visit! It brought tears to my eyes to witness the excitement in the faces of many children who received their very first tooth brush.
Since our visit to Mexico happened to be during Mardi Gras there was plenty of activities for us to do after our work was done. On our 4th day there, one of the locals that we met took us to the Ekbalam ruins, to an underground sonote, and to a market for hand-made souvenirs. Ekbalam is an incredible piece of Mayan history and tourists are permitted to climb all over the ruins! Getting to the top of the highest, standing Mayan ruin is quite the accomplishment but getting down from it is the bigger one.
One night after dinner, a group of us from the mission piled onto a double-decker "Party Bus" for a ride around Valladolid. The buses drive around for about 20 minutes at a time, all hours of the night blasting music from 6 foot speakers. (Needless to say, sleeping well was pretty much out of the question) One of the songs that came on during our ride was actually the English song "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. Other than buying sandals at the shoe shop, it was the highlight of our tour! I would definitely recommend traveling to Valladolid to anyone who has the chance! The city is a great addition to our wonderful world.
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